Frequently Asked Questions

  1. The DLBA currently auctions 2 homes everyday online at https://buildingdetroit.org/properties/auction/
  2. Auction homes are listed with an auction date and are available for bidding for an 8-hour window on the DLBA’s website. Auction homes are sold to the highest bidder.
  3. Auction homes have been cleared out and secured by the DLBA and are sold with clear title
  4. Buyers are required to rehab Auction houses after purchase and ensure that they are occupied
  1. The DLBA only sells property to buyers who satisfy the following eligibility requirements:
    1. Buyers must be Michigan residents (or residents of other states committed to moving to Detroit to occupy the property) or companies/organizations licensed to do business in Michigan AND
      1. Have no delinquent property taxes in Wayne County
        1. Unsure? Check here: https://www.waynecounty.com/elected/treasurer/home.aspx
      2. Not lost property other than primary residence due to unpaid taxes in Wayne County in the past three years
      3. Have no outstanding blight violations or code violations with the City of Detroit
        1. Unsure? Check here: http://www.detroitmi.gov/How-Do-I/Pay/Blight-Ticket-FAQ
      4. Are not currently in the midst of bankruptcy proceeding(s)
      5. Are compliant in any Nuisance Abatement proceeding(s)
      6. Meet DLBA compliance requirements
  1. Browse the Auction houses listed on the DLBA website. Note the sale dates.
  2. Tour the house you are interested in buying. Tours can be scheduled on the DLBA website and cost $35 dollars. Touring homes without approval will be considered trespassing.
  3. Review the compliance requirements for Auction properties here [Compliance FAQ]. Make a budget to ensure you are ready to complete a rehab project.
  1. Create an account on the DLBA website.
  2. Bidding will begin at 9am on the sale date. Bidding will close at 5pm, unless a bid is made after 4:55pm. In those cases, the bidding window will be extended for 5 minutes after each bid. For example, if someone bids at 4:59, bidding will be extended until 5:04.
  3. Place a bid on the house you are interested in. Bidding begins at $1000 and must increase in increments of $100.
  4. When you bid on a property, the DLBA will place a $1000 hold on your credit card. This will be released if you do not win the auction. If you are the winner of the auction, the $1000 will be charged as a nonrefundable deposit.
  5. Monitor bidding to make sure you have not been outbid. If you cannot actively bid, proxy bidding is available. The maximum bid you enter will be hidden from others and cannot be deleted or lowered.
  1. If you win the bid on an Auction house, you will receive an email from the DLBA within 1-3 business days. After receiving this email, you will then receive a welcome call from the DLBA to congratulate you on your purchase and to confirm your information so the DLBA can run an eligibility check. You will be given an overview of the DLBA process and given a chance to ask questions.
    1. At this point, corporations, organizations and LLCs will be asked to submit:
      1. Certificate of Good Standing
      2. Proof of incorporation/organization in Michigan
      3. List of all board members/partners with contact information (including home addresses)
    2. Joint ventures will be asked to produce all of these documents for all entities involved.
  2. If you win the bidding on an Auction house, your credit card will be charged $1000 dollars as a nonrefundable deposit. If you were not the winner of the Auction, the $1000 hold on your card will be released.
  3. After passing your eligibility check, you will receive your Purchase Agreement.
  4. After receiving your Purchase Agreement, read it closely, sign, and return it to the DLBA within 3 days. If the winning bid on your house was greater than $10,000, you will be required to pay an additional fee to make your deposit equal to 10% of the bid price. For example, if the winning bid on your home was $15,000, you will be responsible for paying a deposit of $1,500 dollars—10% of your bid.
    1. Notary services are available at the DLBA Offices (500 Griswold) Monday-Friday from 9-12pm and 3-5pm
  1. After the DLBA has countersigned your Purchase Agreement, you will be contacted by your closing specialist. This closing specialist will schedule your closing with one of the DLBA’s title partners.
  2. You will close within about 30 days of your Purchase Agreement being countersigned.
  1. In addition to paying the remaining sale price on your property, you should be prepared to pay the following estimated closing costs:
    1. Closing/Title fees: $450
    2. Recording fee: $30
    3. Tax certification fee: $25
  2. Note: These are only estimates and are subject to change. If you are obtaining financing from a lender you should anticipate closing costs from your lender. You will receive an itemized invoice at your closing.
  3. You will receive the title and Quit Claim Deed for your property
  4. You will sign a Reconveyance Deed acknowledging forfeiture for failure to fulfil compliance requirements
  1. After closing on your Auction property, you will move into the DLBA’s compliance process. You will be responsible for demonstrating that you are making appropriately paced, good faith efforts to rehab your property and ensure that it is occupied. Learn about the details here [Compliance FAQ].
  1. Own it Now (OIN) homes are available on the DLBA website for sale 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may place an offer on any OIN home at any time.
  2. OIN homes are often listed on the website in response to direct inquires from residents. Want to make an inquiry on a DLBA home? Call 1-844-BUY-DLBA .
  3. Homes are sold as is. They have not been cleaned out and have not been secured.
  4. Buyers are required to rehab the houses and ensure that they are occupied.
  1. The DLBA only sells property to buyers who satisfy the following eligibility requirements:
    1. Buyers must be Michigan residents (or residents of other states committed to moving to Detroit to occupy the property) or companies/organizations licensed to do business in Michigan AND
      1. Have no delinquent property taxes in Wayne County
        1. Unsure? Check here: https://www.waynecounty.com/elected/treasurer/home.aspx
      2. Not lost property other than primary residence due to unpaid taxes in Wayne County in the past three years
      3. Have no outstanding blight violations or code violations with the City of Detroit
        1. Unsure? Check here: http://www.detroitmi.gov/How-Do-I/Pay/Blight-Ticket-FAQ
      4. Are not currently in the midst of bankruptcy proceeding(s)
      5. Are compliant in any Nuisance Abatement proceeding(s)
      6. Meet DLBA compliance requirements
  1. Browse the OIN houses listed on the DLBA website.
  2. Tour the house you are interested in buying. Tours can be scheduled on the DLBA website and cost $35 dollars. Touring homes without approval will be considered trespassing.
  3. Review the compliance requirements for OIN properties here [Compliance FAQ]. Make a budget to ensure you are ready to complete a rehab project.
  1. Create an account on the DLBA website and place an offer on the home you’re interested in. Your offer must match or exceed the minimum price set by the DLBA.
  2. After you make an offer, other buyers will have 72 hours to enter their own offers on the property. All offers are hidden, so you won’t know the size of the counter offers.
  1. If you placed the highest offer on an OIN house, you will receive an email from the DLBA within 1-3 business days. After receiving this email, you will then receive a welcome call from the DLBA to congratulate you on your purchase and to confirm your information so the DLBA can run an eligibility check. You will be given an overview of the DLBA process and given a chance to ask questions.
    1. At this point, corporations, organizations and LLCs will be asked to submit:
      1. Certificate of Good Standing
      2. Proof of incorporation/organization in Michigan
      3. List of all board members/partners with contact information (including home addresses)
    2. Joint ventures will be asked to produce all of these documents for all entities involved.
  2. If you are found eligible by the DLBA, you will be charged $1000 or 10% of your final sale price for a deposit. For example, if the winning offer on your home was $15,000, your deposit will be $1,500 dollars—equal to 10% of your offer.
  3. After paying your deposit, you will receive a copy of your Purchase Agreement in your email.
  4. After receiving your Purchase Agreement, read it closely, sign, and return it to the DLBA within 3 days. If you would like a DLBA notary to notarize your Purchase Agreement you may come to the DLBA offices (located at 500 Griswold) between 9-12pm and 3-5pm, Monday-Friday.
    1. Notary services are available at the DLBA Offices (500 Griswold) Monday-Friday from 9-12pm and 3-5pm
  1. 48 hours after the DLBA has countersigned your Purchase Agreement, you will be contacted by your closing specialist. This closing specialist will schedule your closing with one of the DLBA’s title partners.
  2. You will close within about 30 days of your Purchase Agreement being counter signed.
  1. In addition to paying the remaining sale price on your property, you should be prepared to pay the following estimated closing costs:
    1. Closing/Title fees: $450
    2. Recording fee: $30
    3. Tax certification fee: $25
  2. Note: These are only estimates and are subject to change. If you are obtaining financing from a lender you should anticipate closing costs from your lender. You will receive an itemized invoice at your closing.
  3. You will receive the title and Quit Claim Deed for your property
  4. You will sign a Reconveyance Deed acknowledging forfeiture for failure to fulfil compliance requirements
  1. After closing on your OIN property, you will move into the DLBA’s compliance process. You will be responsible for demonstrating that you are making appropriately paced, good faith efforts to rehab your property and ensure that it is occupied. Learn about the details here [Compliance FAQ].
  1. A Side Lot is a piece of vacant land that is less than 7,500 square feet. Side Lots are adjacent to (share a property line with) occupied homes.
  1. The DLBA sells Side Lots for $100. If the lot has a structure on it (garage, shed, gazebo, or similar), the DLBA will sell the lot for $250.
  1. The Detroit Land Bank Authority sells Side Lots to neighbors. To purchase a Side Lot, you must:
    1. Own a house that shares a property line with the Side Lot. Your home may be across the alley from a Side Lot, but not across the street. The house must be occupied.
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    3. Be current on your property taxes or in compliance with your tax payment plan.
    4. Have purchased no more than 8 properties from the DLBA within the last 12 months - one buyer may only purchase 9 DLBA properties a year.
    5. If you are buying a Side Lot adjacent to a house you purchased from the DLBA through the Auction or Own it Now program, you must have achieved compliance and received your certification of Compliance Achieved from the DLBA first.
  1. If you are interested in buying vacant land but you don’t meet the eligibility requirements for the Side Lot program, you will need to apply for a “Project Purchase.” You can find more information [[here]].
  1. You can check to see if a lot adjacent to your home is for sale by searching your property address under the “Purchase a Side Lot” tab on buildingdetroit.org. Additionally, every time a new Side Lot is listed for sale the DLBA sends a postcard to every neighbor who might be eligible to purchase.
  1. If you live adjacent to a vacant lot that you are interested in purchasing, first check to see if the DLBA owns the lot. You can check ownership of a lot on the DLBA’s property tracker. If we do own the lot and it isn’t available for sale, give us a call at 313-974-6869. We may be able to list the lot for sale in response to your inquiry, or at least give you more information about the parcel.
  1. Yes. In order to do so, you will need to do the following:
  1. On your application, indicate that you are an “organizational buyer.”
  2. Apply for the lot with the name of your organization/business. The name on the deed of the house must match the name on the Side Lot application. If you own a house as “Lopez Property Management LLC,” the application for the Side Lot must be in the same name.
  1. The DLBA sells Side Lots on a first come, first served basis. If there are multiple, eligible applications for a lot at the same time, the DLBA may take proof of maintenance (receipts of lawn care expenses, photographs of lawn work) or letters of reference from a neighbor into consideration when selecting. The DLBA will make all final decisions.
  1. The DLBA hosts several Side Lot sale events each year. These sale events are a chance for residents to buy a Side Lot in person and ask the DLBA staff questions. Before each Side Lot sale, the DLBA will send a postcard to every home potentially eligible to purchase a Side Lot inviting them to the event. You must make an account on the DLBA website and apply for your desired lot before attending these events.
  1. The DLBA will upload the Quit Claim Deed of your new property to your online account as soon as possible after your purchase.
  2. If the Side Lot has a Michigan State Housing Development Authority lien on it, the DLBA will file the required paperwork on your behalf and notify you when the lien has been released. This process can take up to a year.
  1. The DLBA will transfer the taxes to your name by notifying the assessor on your behalf. Once you take ownership of a Side Lot it is your responsibility to pay the city property taxes.
  1. Yes. If you are interested in combining a DLBA purchased property with a privately held or privately purchased property you will likely need apply to the DLBA for a 5/50 tax waiver before you can go to the city’s Assessor’s office to begin the process of combining the property. Call the DLBA office and tell client services you are interested in getting a 5/50 waiver. The DLBA will do the paperwork and file it with the assessor’s office on your behalf.